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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3508


Ms SAFFIN (Page) (14:30): My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Minister, how is the government making smarter and fairer investments in infrastructure to improve safety for people and productivity for our economy and how has this investment been received?

Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the House, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Minister for Regional Development and Local Government) (14:31): I thank the member for Page for her question. Indeed this is a federal Labor government that has been making investments to make the economy stronger to ensure that we are a smarter and fairer society. We make substantial investments in our regions and in our cities and we invest in rail as well as our roads. Investment in rail, of course, takes cars and trucks off our roads and makes our roads safer as well as more productive, and this year's budget continues that commitment. If you look at the big projects, at the big roads, at the Hume Highway, the duplication fully from Sydney to Melbourne will be finished in the next two months. If you look at the Bruce Highway, $5.7 billion committed compared with $1.3 billion over a similar period of time by those opposite. If you look at the Pacific Highway, $7.9 billion committed compared with $1.3 billion from those opposite. If you look at the Pacific Highway, which is of particular interest to the member for Page and the member for Richmond, and you look at the work, work will be completed in the next financial year just north of Grafton at the Devils Pulpit section. Work will continue to the north of that on the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section, where we have over half a billion dollars of federal funds committed, completing the preconstruction activities between Tyndale and Maclean and Harwood on Chatsworth Island south of Woodburn and north of Broadwater—all of that work funded.

In the next year work will start on duplication—in the next couple of months, indeed—on the long overdue Frederickton to Eungai section and on the sections between Oxley Highway and Kundabung, Kundabung and Kempsey, Warrell Creek and Nambucca Heads, Nambucca Heads and Urunga—all of which has received the support of members on this side of this House, as well as the member for Lyne.

I am asked how this report has been received. Well, last month I opened the Kempsey bypass, the longest bridge ever built in Australia. The member for Lyne was there. It was promised, funded, built and opened by this government; 100 per cent funds from the Australian government, zip from the New South Wales government. But I thought, well, what have they got against funding this section of road—not one cent. The local member, the member for Cowper, did not bother to show up. So they did not bother to participate in the community activity but there was some funding. There was funding of this full-page ad by Andrew Stoner from the National Party with the state infrastructure minister and leader of the New South Wales Nats claiming credit.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House will not use the prop.

Mr ALBANESE: The wouldn't put a cent into the roads . They saved it all for the ad. (Time expired)